Alpha Psi – Phi Delta Chi Receives National Recognition in Multiple Areas

At the 69th Annual Phi Delta Chi Grand Council, Pacific’s Alpha Psi Chapter received national recognition in multiple areas. For the second consecutive year, Alpha Psi took home fourth place for the Emory W. Thurston Grand President’s Award which is the highest honor awarded by the fraternity and represents exemplary achievement in service, scholarship, leadership, brotherhood, and a professional window display project.

In addition, the chapter placed third in both the Prescott Scholarship Cup and Rand P. Hollenback Scholarship and in the Chapter Publication Award and Norman H. Franke Scholarship; fourth in the Ralph L. Saroyan Brotherhood Award and Desmet Scholarship; and received the 100 percent Achievement Award. Twenty three brothers were in attendance.

Myth Busters, the theme they chose for this year’s report, focuses on how brothers support each other to accomplish their goals and why students should ignore certain urban myths. One myth Alpha Psi debunked was “All you need to succeed in pharmacy school is to get good grades.” To be successful, students must also become leaders in the community and in the profession. Alpha Psi believes that brothers should “push past their comfort zone and go for leadership positions within the fraternity so that they may gain leadership experience and confidence so they can apply it to future positions.”

Alpha Psi brothers, including Mr. Ralph Saroyan '64, at the meeting.
Alpha Psi brothers, including Mr. Ralph Saroyan ’64, at the meeting.

Alpha Psi presents opportunities to the brothers to get involved and develop their skills as leaders. At the beginning of each year they host a Chapter Retreat to plan events and brainstorm ideas for the coming year. Newly initiated brothers are encouraged to share their ideas and take the lead in implementing the event. According to the report “At least 40 brothers (51.2%) participate actively in the brainstorming and planning part of chapter retreat.” If a brother is interested in obtaining an executive board position, they are given the opportunity to shadow current board members to prepare for an effective transition, if applicable. Brothers can also take advantage of mock interviews, leadership panel discussions, and more.

They also shed light on another myth: “You can sleep through school and be fine.” In the same way that they support each other to obtain leadership positions, Alpha Psi brothers believe in supporting each other to excel academically. Throughout the year, they organize several programs to help brothers achieve their academic and scholarship goals. The most prominent program is their incentive program where brothers are awarded points according to their GPA value and degree of GPA improvement. At the end of the year, the brothers with the most points win a free Rush Dinner ticket worth $50. They also organize and collect study guides, notes and study tips to create their Academic Vault. This year they moved the vault online which helped increase the effectiveness and accessibility of the materials. Other strategies for increasing scholarship include providing study hours, finals study bags, and securing library study rooms during midterms and finals.

Alex Van Zuiden ’15, who serves as Worthy Correspondent, says her involvement in the fraternity has allowed her to secure leadership positions at the School and it has provided resources for her to organize projects that will impact the community. Van Zuiden is also the American Managed Care Pharmacists (AMCP) Vice President of External Affairs and the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists Midyear Regional Meeting (MRM) Exposition Committee Chair. Van Zuiden organized Color for Cures, a philanthropic 5K run that raised over $1,200 to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I chose Phi Delta Chi because I found a group of people who were invested in my interests and cared about me as a person. They are a wonderful family and are there to support me through all of my successes and struggles,” said Van Zuiden.

Phi Delta Chi – Alpha Psi seeks to promote scholastic, professional, and social growth in its Brothers. They strive to provide quality services to their patients, thereby advancing public health and becoming leaders in the field. To learn more about the fraternity, visit


School Presents New Combined Masters and Fellowship Program

craig and yvonne editedCraig Barker ’14 and Yvonne Mai ’14 have been selected as candidates for the new Combined Masters of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Fellowship in Pharmacy Practice. With the two-year program, the students will gain clinical experience similar to a residency, experience working in academic pharmacy and with geriatrics and to conduct and present a thesis research project with clinical or pharmacoeconomic emphasis. Students will work closely with the Department of Pharmacy Practice and the Pharmaceutical Chemical Sciences program to coordinate their schedules for the next two years.

“What we wanted was to attract strong Pacific students who were looking for something a little out of the ordinary for a postgraduate experience. This is an intense two-year program and will require a high level of commitment to complete. We’re very happy that Craig and Yvonne have chosen to be our inaugural fellows. They came to us highly recommended,” said Dr. William Kehoe ’95, program director and advisor.

Barker and Mai, who are finishing their third-year in the program and currently on advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations, agreed that the program offered many exciting opportunities. “I’ve always had an interest in working with the geriatric population and having the opportunity to help individuals who don’t get a lot of time or care. I know I will benefit from those interactions and learning how to provide interventions that will make an impact,” said Barker.

Mai, who has an interest in public health, felt the program’s emphasis on pharmacoeconomics would help her build a foundation to “improve health care programs and expand health care for the general public.”

Although the program is new and will be competing against other established programs for students, Dr. Kehoe feels strongly that the “combination of a fellowship and graduate degree will place students in a very competitive position among candidates for jobs in the future.” In addition to working in the clinics and classrooms, each student will also be completing six rotations scheduled in a four-week block.

Currently the students are providing teaching assistance to faculty members particularly in the practicum and geriatric courses. Barker and Mai will also be working closely with Dr. Rajul Patel ’01, ’06 in coordinating this year’s Medicare Part D outreach events and with Drs. Sian Carr-Lopez ’85, Joseph Woelfel ’70, ’72, ’78 and Suzanne Galal on the research component.

“It’s nice that it’s a brand new program because there is so much room for it to grow and it’s exciting to be part of that. In addition, it gives room for flexibility and changes,” said Barker. “I know that once I complete the program, I will have more opportunities than if I didn’t,” added Mai.

Barker and Mai will both earn their doctor of pharmacy degrees in May 2014 and are expected to complete the program by May 2015.


Preeti Oza: Pacific is the Perfect Opportunity

Preeti Oza_headshotPreeti Oza, Ph.D., PT, joined the Pacific Family in August as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Oza came from Fresno State University where she taught neurological physical therapy and was coordinator of the DPT program for three years. After moving to Livermore to be closer to her family, Dr. Oza searched for the “perfect opportunity” and when she came upon Pacific she was “so excited because I knew this was it.”

“I chose Pacific because I was impressed by the faculty and department. I felt like I could bring valuable contributions to the department and that the department and University would support my career goals,” said Dr. Oza.

Dr. Oza will be teaching Neuromuscular Physical Therapy and hopes that once students have completed her course they will have a better understanding of the cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges of a person who suffers from neurological disorders.

“Treating a person with neurological disorders requires you to look at the patient as a whole because it’s important to understand what the patient’s goals are. Only then will the treatment be effective,” said Dr. Oza.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Oza hopes to continue her clinical research working with individuals with Parkinson’s disease and gain more clinical practice experience. Since August, she has already established a relationship with the Stockton-San Joaquin Parkinson’s Disease Support Group. Her hope is to serve as a resource for the group.

Dr. Oza finds inspiration in new ideas, especially when working in groups or collaborations. Currently she is working with Rachel Stark, Pharmacy and Health Sciences Librarian, on a pilot research project that will assess how students gather and receive data and conduct research and how an institution can help enhance student literacy.

Dr. Oza earned her bachelor’s and master’s in physical therapy in India and her doctor of philosophy in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitative science from The University of Iowa.


Big Shoes to Fill: The Decades of Giving Program

Decades of Giving 2014Second year students of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program, Nicole Molina ’14 and Devon Flannigan ’14 are excited about the 2014 American Physical Therapists Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in Las Vegas. This national conference held in February hosts more than 10,000 physical therapy (PT) professionals and provides a vast wealth of knowledge and networking opportunities for Molina and Flannigan’s tight knit class of 34 students.

As representatives of the Decades of Giving Program, both young professionals must rally up support to send their class to Las Vegas for an opportunity of a lifetime. The DPT class of 2014 has participated in fundraisers to raise enough funds to go to Las Vegas, but they need alumni support to make it all the way. Molina puts it this way, “Without alumni, we wouldn’t be able to attend the meeting. Being full-time students, many of us do not have jobs that can serve as a source of income.” The estimated fee is $400 per student for travel and lodging and the students will have to pay for additional amenities.

The Decades of Giving program involves past Pacific Alumni supporting and contributing to the goals and dreams of current Pacific students in the Department of Physical Therapy. Alumni support is crucial to students’ advancement. Not only do alumni provide information and knowledge of the real world, but also opportunities for Pacific students to network and develop professionally. Flannigan states, “Alumni support is important because they are the few who can imagine what it’s like to be in our program, and literally be where we are right now. Even having that connection is special. Knowing that they support us in taking advantage of this amazing opportunity means a lot emotionally and financially.”

So what does attending the Combined Sections Meeting really mean for the students? Flannigan responds, “It’s going to be our first chance to be a professional other than being in the clinic. It adds another aspect to the profession for us and serves as another resource to gain skills that we can apply in the clinic.”

While at CSM, the students will be able to listen to lectures, and have access to tools and tricks of the trade. It also demonstrates the reality of working in different industries of physical therapy. For the class of 34 students, attending CSM offers another way to get help in the areas they struggle in. It is expected to be a flurry of activity and knowledge so grand it may overwhelm, but Molina and Flannigan have a plan; both have decided to keep an open mind and try to see and do as much as possible during their short stay. Molina laughs, “I think you just have to jump in head first. You’ll find your feet.”

As representatives of the Decades of Giving program, Flannigan and Molina want to thank Pacific alumni for helping them take that step towards professionalism. The CSM will provide them with research and innovative ideas outside of the classroom. Molina adds, “To have alumni who are in the field and say ‘hey, we’d really like to support you, your dreams, and what you’re doing and trying to achieve,’ that’s really important. We want to say thank you to all the people who support us.”

Molina’s interest in physical therapy bloomed in high school after shadowing a physical therapist over the summer. “I thought it was the coolest thing. That’s exactly what I wanted to do.” She followed her passion at Notre Dame de Namur University of Belmont and obtained a bachelor of science in kinesiology. Flannigan also launched her journey in high school where, as an athlete, she was introduced to an athletic training course. She continued her education at Chico State University where she graduated with a degree in exercise physiology. As a junior undergraduate student she worked as an aid at a physical therapy clinic. “I loved it. Working with the clients and getting to know them…and then it just stuck!” Both Flannigan and Molina entered Pacific’s Department of Physical Therapy in the fall of 2012.

When asked, why Pacific Molina and Flannigan concurred that it was both the fast paced accelerated program as well as the close knit structure of students and faculty that drew them in. Flannigan explains further, “You would go through your educational experience with others, not just by yourself. We have 34 in our class, and we go to all of our classes together.”

It wasn’t all fun and games for them; Molina is the first in her family to go to college. “It’s a big jump because nobody’s been there before.” Flannigan explains further, “For both Nicole and I, it’s [physical therapy] something we had in mind before we even started college. It was always there to motivate us and we didn’t really have the option to slack off.” More specifically, Pacific’s stringent physical therapy courses have kept them extremely focused on a successful career. As Molina describes it, “Pacific is a school where they tell you something once and you have to know it and be on your toes. A rigorous course translates well into being great clinicians.” But Pacific’s faculty haven’t left them to flounder. “The faculty meets our needs. Because our class is so small, they always have time for us.” This enormous focus is leading them toward bright futures. Although Molina and Flannigan have yet to decide on their career paths but they are open-minded and ready for anything. Molina is currently interested in the pediatric field while Flannigan’s interests lie in traveling to third world countries as a licensed physical therapist.

When asked what advice they would give to students in their shoes 10 years from now, Flannigan and Molina agreed that it will be interesting to see what happens during that time. “The PT field has grown so much in terms of what we can do for patients and in healthcare in general. So over 10 years, seeing those students and seeing what they’re learning, it’ll be amazing. In terms of advice? I’d say to ask a lot of questions and question everything because it’s a great way to learn. Because absorbing what they’re giving you is only one part of it. You only get so far with that.” Flannigan continues, “Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on things. Every PT out there is different. There’s a lot to consider but just because your plan is different from what others would do doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Take pride in that, and in formulating unique treatment plans.”

In the future, Flannigan and Molina hope to return the favor by supporting students. “I hope so! I plan to. Especially because we are representatives, and we know how we’ve reached out to them. We want their support, and so I would love to return the favor. Once we graduate we will forever be tied to the School,” said Flannigan.

To learn more about how you can sponsor a student click here.


Linda (Goosen) Panofsky, Pharm.D.: Teaching Students How to be in the Know

Dr. Panofsky with Clara at her wedding.
Dr. Panofsky with Clara at her wedding.

Dr. Linda (Goosen) Panofsky joined the Department of Pharmacy Practice as Assistant Clinical Professor and Regional Coordinator for San Jose in August 2011. She completed her pre-pharmacy coursework at University of Central Arkansas and earned her doctor of pharmacy from University of Arkansas for Medical Services.

Before the downturn of the economy, Dr. Panofsky owned her own pharmacy in Arkansas where she served as CEO and pharmacy manager. During that time, she also served as adjunct faculty and guest lecturer at various institutions which she enjoyed.

“I always had teaching tendencies, even back in middle school tutoring others. Throughout my pharmacy career, my supervisors told me my calling was teaching,” said Dr. Panofsky.

Having been here for two years, she says “Pacific students have a great sense of togetherness and appreciation for cultural diversity.” As a faculty member, she plays a big role in the success of our students. In order to help them achieve their goals, Dr. Panofsky focuses her teaching on critical thinking skills rather than raw content because “those who come seeking answers are only half as wise as those seeking the way to find answers.” A proverb she created herself.

Dr. Panofsky also looks to her mentors to find inspiration. She says Dr. Sian Carr-Lopez ’85 is an “excellent professor, practitioner and supervisor and has always nurtured my interests and participation at Pacific.” When she plans for her curriculum, she draws from her “love of teaching and seeing a student come into their own as a pharmacist.” Dr. Panofsky lets her drive to help others influence the way she teaches and the impact she makes in the community. She is a long time member of the American Pharmacists Association, California Pharmacists Association, and California Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She is also a member of Phi Lambda Sigma; a pharmacy leadership society charter at her alma mater.

As the students graduate from her course, Dr. Panofsky hopes that they have learned the proper tools to help them learn how to learn. “Memory will fade and facts that are not associated with conceptual learning will disappear. If they can learn to understand and apply the concepts then I have done my job,” said Dr. Panofsky.

Dr. Panofsky is also board certified in pharmacotherapy and will be able to put it to use if Senate Bill 493 (SB 493) passes. “I would like to be one of the first advanced practice pharmacist.” The bill seeks to improve patient access to healthcare by empowering pharmacists to provide basic care services in collaboration with physicians, Medical Homes and other systems of care in which patients receive treatment.

Dr. Panofsky is happily married to Peter, a firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT), and a proud mom of a five year old daughter, Clara.


Lauren Epperson ‘14: Model Student Pharmacist

Lauren Epperson 2Lauren Epperson ’14 might come off as shy but her resume tells quite a different story. Her 4.0 GPA, leadership in student organizations and community outreach services earned her the September 2013 Pharmacy Times and Walmart Respect, Excellence, and Service in Pharmacy (RESPy) Award. This award honors an extraordinary pharmacy student who has made a difference in their communities by demonstrating excellence in pharmaceutical care and advancing the profession of pharmacy.

“This award means so much to me because it shows that throughout the entire country my accomplishments stand out amongst my peers. This kind of recognition gives me the motivation to keep up the hard work and dedication,” says Epperson.

Epperson found out about this award through Dr. Rajul Patel ’01, ’06 who nominated her. Epperson is advised by Dr. Patel through her involvement in the Drug Awareness Committee, Medicare Part D, Phi Lambda Sigma and has completed a few research project under his guidance.

As a faculty advisor for many student groups on campus and extensive interactions with students, Dr. Patel feels “Lauren is the epitome of what every pharmacy student should strive to be; a hard-working, goal-oriented student who realizes that the pharmacy education here at University of the Pacific extends beyond the confines of the classroom and spills directly into the community.”

“I feel honored to be nominated by Dr. Patel,” said Epperson.

Growing up in Woodland, California, Epperson has known that she wanted to be a pharmacist since her sophomore year of high school. As she compared her options for higher education, she said she chose Pacific for its pre-pharmacy program, faculty to student ratio and its beauty. “I had an amazing undergraduate experience and the pharmacy program has been just as rewarding. I would not change a thing about it,” she said.

Epperson just completed her ambulatory are rotation and “loved it.” She is looking forward to pursuing a residency program after graduation.




Hession Hogan ’04 Makes Her Mark in San Francisco

“I have nothing but fond memories of Pacific and I am proud to be an alumna.”

-Hession Hogan ’04 SLP

Hession Hogan2_resizedTuLips Speech Therapy, located on Union Street in San Francisco, was recently featured in a San Francisco Chronicle article.  TuLips is a charming storefront speech clinic owned by Pacific SLP alumna Hession Hogan ’04 and sister Maggie Hogan who is also an SLP.   The private practice provides speech therapy services to adults and children as young as 18 months old.

TuLips Speech Therapy offers walk-in speech therapy.  Hession explained that because they are on a busy street, it is easy for adults to stop in as they pass by and ask a question for themselves, their child or someone they know.  She went on to say that a lot of times drop-in clients say that they have been meaning to see a speech therapist, but didn’t know how to find one.

Prior to opening TuLips, Hession lived in New York City for several years and worked in a pediatric hospital.  Her patients had severe problems.  Hession reflected, “I remember thinking there must be a way I can help them because their physical therapist and occupational therapist were able to provide therapy—I was going to have to figure a way I would be able to help them as well.”

Hession Hogan_resizedHession was introduced to muscle based therapy and saw that helping these children to increase breath support; to be able to breathe on their own, to strengthen their jaw, tongue, and lip muscles so they would be able to eat and then to build on those skills and transition into speech sounds.  “I continue to apply those techniques on a daily basis,” noted Hession.  “I have several clients with rare syndromes whose parents drive from the North Bay, South Bay, and East Bay to bring them to speech therapy because there is no other speech therapist who can provide the type of therapy they need,” Hession explained.  Hession is certified in Oral Placement Therapy.  She currently is at Level Three and anticipates receiving Level Four certification early next year.  Hession is one of a handful of California Speech-Language Pathologists who are certified in this specialization.  It is a muscle based approach that can be used with anyone where traditional speech therapy is not benefiting them or when they have plateaued.

Reflecting on her experience at Pacific, Hession remarks, “I remember feeling very prepared once I graduated and was working during and after my Clinical Fellowship (CF) year.  I continue to recognize what an exceptional program Pacific has after speaking to others who felt like they were not prepared and did not have the confidence to be a speech therapist.”  Hession went on to say, “Pacific was well organized in making sure we turned in correct paperwork to the state and national boards at the right times.  The professors were very supportive throughout the program and want you to succeed.  I have nothing but fond memories of Pacific and I am proud to be an alumna.”

Read about their story in the San Francisco Chronicle here.



Gloria Lee ’14: Making a Difference One Connection at a Time

Gloria Lee_resizedWhile many students were spending their summer vacations riding the waves or soaking up the sun at the beach, Gloria Lee ’14 spent her summer with Adventures in Communications at Camp Meadowood Springs in Oregon and providing health screenings to the local communities in Honduras.

As a student clinician, Lee worked with children with communications and social learning challenges. She saw three clients a week and provided two hours of therapy during each session. She also provided additional therapy sessions throughout the day during activities such as confidence courses, arts and crafts, zip line canopies, canoeing, nature hikes, and swimming as well as many others.

It was through Lee’s Pacific connections that she learned about this unique opportunity. One of her classmates was a recent student clinician and gave a presentation about how the Camp changed her life.

Lee’s trip to Honduras was also a result of her Pacific connection. Lee traveled with Michael Chuang ’14, Lee’s boyfriend and a student pharmacist, and the Rho Pi Phi Fraternity to Honduras where they shadowed doctors, gynecologists, dentists, pharmacists, and other health care practitioners. In addition, they provided free community health services at local schools such as blood pressure screenings and taught kids how to brush their teeth.

Her favorite memory was “hearing my client say basic words like cat and bathroom in Spanish for the first time. I was so excited.”

“I learned to be flexible with the children because different things work with different kids and we must learn to adapt to each of their needs. It made me more confident in what I had already learned and that speech is really what I wanted to do,” said Lee.

Lee initially came to Pacific as a candidate in the two-three pre-pharmacy advantage program after being inspired by her mom, a pharmacist and alumna of the School. Although she had completed her requirements to apply to the doctor of pharmacy program, she quickly changed her mind after a friend told her about the speech-language pathology program.

“I always knew that I enjoyed helping people, working with kids and loved language and literacy. It is my passion. When I learned about the opportunities that the speech-language pathology program had to offer, I knew it was the right career path for me,” said Lee. She said after speaking about the program further with Professor Simalee Smith-Stubblefield ’82 she was even more excited because the profession would “allow me to work with people of all age groups and work in all type of settings.”

Currently she serves as the co-chair for fundraising on Pacific’s National Student Speech-Hearing-Language Association executive board, is secretary and bible study leader in Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, and serves as a Pacific Ambassador. She is also heavily involved with Relay for Life where she served three years as captain in high school and again last year here at Pacific. She hopes to continue to travel on mission trips and travel to third world countries to provide health services. After graduation, Lee hopes to continue her education here at Pacific in the master’s of speech-language pathology program.


Alex Ray ’07 Opens Up About His New Clinic

Alex Ray_resizedAlex Ray ‘07 and his wife Nicole, own North Area Physical Therapy in Carmichael, California. I recently visited Alex where I toured the clinic and asked a few questions:


Susan: You take Pacific Physical Therapy students as a Clinical Instructor (CI). What is that like?

Alex: I have been pleased with the students from Pacific that I have worked with. Pacific students seem to have a broad range of what they have been exposed to and bring some new ideas and current physical therapy education to our more experienced staff.

What advice would you give a new grad as they enter the profession?
I would advise students to think of the first year of school as another step in their education and to absorb as much as possible, by year three out of school I think you tend to feel much more comfortable with whatever rolls through the door no matter what area of expertise you have begun to develop.

You and your wife Nicole purchased North Area Physical Therapy in 2012. Do you have advice for PT grads or students who would like to own a private practice?
For students thinking about owning private practice, I would advise taking a basic business management class, possibly interning with an owner as your CI. Getting exposure to as much of the billing and insurance authorization seems tedious but it is part of making PT a viable resource for patients to have access to.

NAPT has a great therapy pool! How does aquatic therapy benefit your patients?
Aquatic therapy has been an invaluable tool to utilize in the clinic. Most of the people we see have multiple co-morbidities or injury history other than what they are being referred for, the pool often gives people a chance who do not know how to get started on an exercise program.

Tell us about your family.
I married my wife Nicole during PT school and we have a three and a half year old son named Carson and a three month old daughter named Evelyne. I play some softball and am set to go to SF Giants baseball fantasy camp in January for the second time with my Dad and younger brother. I can’t wait to coach Little League.

Your clinic specializes in PT and sports medicine. Can you explain the difference? What type of athletes do you treat in your clinic?
Our clinic specializes in sports injuries which are usually the weekend warrior type or the high school soccer player. I love training an athlete with a specific goal to return to and really apply these concepts to our patients whether they are eight or eighty-eight years old.

What was your favorite class during PT school?
I really liked Neuro and Ortho labs and our Neuro professor Peggy Roller and Orthopedic professor Tamara Little (Phelan). Christy Wilson was my advisor when I first walked onto campus and she made me feel comfortable with my choice to attend grad school and deal with the outside stress of life.

Any words of wisdom for our current Physical Therapy Students?
I miss school and urge my students to enjoy that time in their career that they can never really replicate. You will always band together as a group to complain about tests, schedules, and presentations, but in the end you will really appreciate the experience at Pacific.